Ecommerce Email Marketing Automations to Sell Anything Online

Ecommerce Email Marketing Automations to Sell Anything Online

7 Standard Email Automations for Any Business

If you sell anything online, whether it’s a product, a service, online courses, drop-shipping, or even memberships to your gym, you can consider yourself “e-commerce” and should be implementing these 7 standard ecommerce email marketing automations.

Email marketing goes well beyond the monthly newsletters of the early 2000’s, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that all or part of your business needs to be online. It’s still the #1 online channel for selling your brand, and the best part is that YOU OWN IT. You don’t have to worry about what’s happening on Facebook and Instagram. You don’t have to worry about CPC bid strategies and display advertising remarketing. You own your email list, and your emails will end up directly in front of your customers, the people that have voluntarily opted-in and said, “Yes! I’m interested in your product!”

So, if you want a way of staying in front of them for at least a month after they’ve signed up or purchased something from you, AUTOMATICALLY, you need to implement these 7 email marketing automations as soon as possible.

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1. Abandoned cart

First and foremost, abandoned cart. When people come to your store, if they put something in their cart and then they leave, you wanna be able to re-market to them, and, as a marketer or a business owner, we are hypersensitive to the fact that we are being marketed to but statistics and analytics and history shows that most people out there they don’t mind and these abandoned cart sequences they actually work, so if you don’t have that, you’re missing out on sales.

2. Abandoned browser

This one is a little more intrusive so it takes a little bit more finesse and really understanding your customers. Here, they’re just showing up to your website and looking at a product. They didn’t even put it in their basket. They just looked at it, and you’re still going to contact them.

Related: Check out how LGS made over $18,000 in just 2 weeks using only the Abandoned Cart & Abandoned Browser automations.

3. Welcome email (onboarding)

Assuming you have multiple forms on your website and different ways for people to come into your email marketing through lead magnets, discounts, or a piece of content that you have created for them, you want to be able to talk to those people immediately, especially if you’re offering them a discount.

Tailor your offers and copy to people that haven’t purchased anything from you yet. This way, you can send them a series of upsell emails to remind them they have this discount code or limited time to take advantage of your offer, and then make their first purchase.

4. Nurture sequence

The next automation is called a Nurture sequence. This is where you want to explain a little bit more about your brand story, your history, get them to connect with you on another level, and show them where you hang out on social media. Tell them if you have a blog and what type of content you create. It’s really just connecting with them on a more personal level.

It’s considered “modular,” because you can add people to it from different automations or from different entry points to your email marketing system, depending on how you have everything set up and integrated.

For example, if someone has gone through your whole Welcome Automation without purchasing, then you would want to send them right into nurture. If someone signs up from a generic form on your site without a corresponding offer (your footer, for example), then, maybe you just send them directly to Nurture instead of Welcome.

5. Purchase follow-up

The purchase follow-up automation is also called a Thank You series. As both names imply, you’re just thanking people for their purchase, and they need to be split into two groups: first-time buyers and repeat customers.

Some other great uses of the purchase follow-up are asking for reviews and implementing a customer rewards program. The conditions of the reward program are completely up to you, but can include rewards for:

  • X-number of purchases
  • Certain products purchased
  • Total amount of money spent with you
  • Orders within a certain time period

… and the list goes on.

Remember our modular Nurture Sequence? With some fancy filtering and organizing of your list ahead of time, now is a great time to funnel them into the Nurture Sequence if they haven’t received it yet.

Why Email Automations Work

Mailchimp Email Automations CertificationAt this point, between your upsell and welcoming people, your nurture automation, and your thank you messages, you can easily stay in front of your customers for at least a month after their first purchase or sign-up in a non-pushy way. Every email is triggered by specific actions they have taken with your brand so it doesn’t feel like you’re some robot pumping out boring, non-humanized automated messages. (We haven’t even dabbled into how you can personalize the individual emails with dynamic content yet.)

This gives them the feeling that you are taking an interest in who they are and really wanting to connect with them. The key to all of this is that you actually do have to care about your customers and when they feel that they will come back time and time again.

When People Don’t Engage with Email Marketing

The last two email automations are actually for when people don’t connect with you. Let’s face it, you can’t please everyone, and statistically, if you can get 40% of your people to just OPEN an email, you’re already above average. So what about that other 60%?

6. Customer win-back / Re-engagement

The time period you decide someone has “gone cold” or is no longer engaged largely depends on the lifecycle of your products (or memberships or content cycle or whatever it is you’re selling and promoting on your site).

If you’re selling toilet paper and you know a roll only lasts a month on average, then you can set up a customer win-back that gets triggered when someone hasn’t come back and purchased more toilet paper in three months.

7. Sunsetting, Archiving, Unsubscribing (automatic list cleaning)

It’s important to only keep people on your list that are totally engaged with you. If you’re sending people all of these emails and you’ve been in front of them for a month, and you decide to email them for another two or three months with just your normal email campaigns, and you’ve automatically tried to re-engage with them, if they haven’t purchased from you, if they haven’t opened your emails, if they haven’t clicked your emails, then you want to clean them off your list.

You do want to give them one last chance and send them another series of emails to try and get them to re-engage, but if they don’t, you want to archive them, suppress them, unsubscribe them, or whatever it’s called in your email provider, but just don’t have them in their list if they’re not gonna take interest in you.

Low Gravity Solutions Can Do This For You

Now that you know the names of these 7 email automations and a few ideas about what they need to contain, there are even more details that we can’t cover right now.

It takes skill and familiarity with your email software to know how to organize your contacts and trigger all of these automations independently, and in addition to each other, so people are not receiving two series of emails at the same time, being missed, or just generally being annoyed by bad organization.

We also didn’t cover personalization or dynamic content for each email. And, well, knowing your audience, choosing your content, and being an exceptional copywriter are totally different skillsets you also need to have for effective email marketing.

LGS is a Silver level Klaviyo Master and a certified MailChimp Partner, but we are happy working in just about any email marketing platform, provided the capabilities and integrations with your site actually exists. If this is all just too much for you to take on yourself, we’d be more than happy to discuss our standard packages and get you up and selling as soon as possible!

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    David Sandel, Founder

    David Sandel, Founder

    Low Gravity Solutions

    Low Gravity Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in growing your small business and solving your entrepreneurial problems. You don't have time to do everything, so let us do it for you.

    Same same, but different…

    Email Marketing Case Study: Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Sequence recovers $15,300 in two weeks ($18,584 total!)

    Email Marketing Case Study: Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Sequence recovers $15,300 in two weeks ($18,584 total!)

    Email Marketing Is Not Dead

    Low Gravity Solutions (LGS) was hired to start the email marketing program for one of the largest [musical] drum sellers and distributors in the U.S. They have a thriving retail location, tons of website traffic and sales, and are integrated with other 3rd party marketplaces. Despite all of this, they had no formal email marketing plan except for an abandoned cart email. In this 2-week case study, you’re going to see how we switched email platforms to Klaviyo and:

    • recovered $15,300 in lost revenue with a single abandoned cart sequence
    • increased the recovery rate from 1% to a mind-blowing 11.8% for some emails (8% on average)
    • added an additional $3,000 of income by using the abandoned browser sequence
    • our methodology and plans for the future.

    You can see that even though you’re doing almost everything right, things can still get drastically better when you put your trust in the right hands.

    Klaviyo flow overview

    Email Marketing Before Low Gravity Solutions

    This client knows the power and value of collecting email addresses and had been doing it for multiple years. They were using MailChimp and even had a few segmentations in their audience for better targeting. However, they weren’t really using the account correctly, and because they are so high volume, they regularly exceeded MailChimp’s API capabilities and could not connect their e-commerce store. The owner would contact his list around the holidays for sales events, and he would email his local segment whenever there were special events.</p.But there was no strategy, no schedule, and no automations. To make it worse, because the integration with Magento never worked (their e-commerce platform), they couldn’t track sales from those one-off campaigns or have any idea of what, or anything, was working.

    Magento abandoned cart

    To their credit, they were using the built-in Magento abandoned cart functionality. They stuck to a pretty generic template, repeating the same email for 3 days after the platform detected an abandoned cart. This abandoned cart still managed to recover $4,800 per month over a 44 month period, with an abandoned cart recovery rate of 1% over that same period. So, those are the benchmarks Low Gravity Solutions needs to beat.

    Magento Lifetime Abandoned Cart

    Email Marketing with Low Gravity Solutions

    Using Klaviyo abandoned cart sequences

    Before we could get to the abandoned cart sequences, we first needed to transfer off of MailChimp and get on a more reliable, better-performing e-commerce email platform. That meant transferring his entire MailChimp account over to Klaviyo and integrating it with Magento. As soon as that was done, we immediately started building out the most important e-commerce automation (or Flow as Klaviyo calls it): the abandoned cart series.

     

    A/B testing and giving life to the emails

    Klaviyo AB Testing
    Klaviyo has amazing built-in A/B, split testing capabilities so we wanted to test our strategy against theirs. As I mentioned earlier, they used the same email template for all 3 emails in their sequence. Not only that, but they were quite generic, had no voice or personality, didn’t connect with the clients, and had a very long disclaimer apologizing if they received this email by accident or because of a technical glitch. We recreated these emails exactly in all of the “A” versions.

    We went in and created magic with the B-versions by analyzing their customers and creating an ideal customer avatar, stripped the Ben Stein monotone voice, adjusted for today’s financial and pandemic climate, were not apologetic for them receiving the email, and most of all, we removed the 10% coupon for coming back and completing their purchase. “WHAT?! Remove an incentive?!” Yes.

    Split-testing results and more refinement

    Klaviyo abandoned cart overview

    After just 1-week, the results were so conclusive that we were losing money by continuing to test any further. The A-versions were performing so poorly that anyone that was receiving them could have actually converted if they would have received ours instead.

    At that point, I also implemented a split in the flow based on the total value of the cart. If talking directly to your ideal customers is good, talking directly to those that are spending a lot vs. those that are spending a little is even better! The mentality of someone buying a $9 pair of drumsticks is different than the mentality of someone buying a $5,000 drum set.

    Abandoned Cart Success

    Recovering $15,337 in 2 weeks

    The first thing we can see is that our abandoned cart sequence has obliterated the control metrics. We needed to recover $4,800 at a rate of 1% in a month.

    We’ve already exceeded that by over $10,000 in just 2 weeks and increased the recovery by an additional 7%!

    I hesitated to claim the $15,000 as a victory for LGS because sales do not always paint the full picture. However, I realized that the exact same products with the exact same probabilities of being abandoned existed before we started too. It’s not like they were only offering low priced products before we showed up, and then they started offering high-priced products. No. The previous abandoned cart sequence had the same opportunities and the same probabilities of recovering these exact items as well. Therefore, the amount of sales is one of the true metrics (especially when you remember that we tailored our emails and copy specifically for high-valued customers).

    Abandoned cart recovery rate increases by 7%

    Even though sales are great, the true value of an abandoned cart is the recovery rate. Shopping behaviors can change from month-to-month and greatly depend on income levels, especially in the current global climate. Sales are also affected by traffic. The more traffic you have, the more sales you make, the more money you can claim in your success.

    Klaviyo abandoned cart Day 0 and 1

    But recovery rate is independent of all that. It is quite literally a simple calculation of the number of people that receive your emails and the ones that end up buying because of it. Whether you have high-priced products or low, high traffic or not, recovery rate only focuses on the effectiveness of your emails.

    An average recovery rate is between 3% and 5% depending on several factors. But our current rate after two weeks is an astonishing 8%. I’d even claim it’s better than that because if you look at the first email, they’re recovering over 11%. It’s normal for them to drop with each subsequent email in the sequence in general, but especially if you’re capturing 11% in the first one, no one needs to see the second.

    The Rest of The 2-Week Email Marketing

    Abandoned Browser

    Klaviyo abandoned browser overview

    After the abandoned cart series, the abandoned browser series is next in line for most important. These emails go out to people that have looked at products in your online store, but then decided to not do anything else. If your customers’ contact information is in the Klaviyo system, Klaviyo can identify when they’re browsing, what they’re looking at, and then send them emails.

    Because they didn’t have this capability before, we have no benchmarks to beat. Any additional sales because of this flow (or any flow hereafter) is 100% additional value being provided by Low Gravity Solutions.

    In 2 weeks, that was an additional $3,000 just for “doing nothing.”

    You can also see the recovery rates aren’t quite as good as the abandoned cart, but 6% is still well above the industry average. Not to mention, the open rates and click-through rates are ridiculously high. That might not lead to direct sales right now, but it is growing the brand’s reputation for having kickass content and in the background, growing the domain’s trustworthiness (to stay out of people’s SPAM folders).

    Purchase follow-up thank you

    At the time of these screenshots, this flow had only been activated for about 5 days. Not only that, but we purposely do not try to upsell or cross-sell to the customers at this point. This is just another touch-point to stay top of mind with the customers. If they buy something, great. If they don’t, we have other opportunities coming. Lastly, these flows are not even completely built out yet, but I didn’t want to miss any chances to talk to our customers and wanted to get this implemented quickly.

    Repeat Customer Thank You
    Repeat Customer Thank You

    1-year anniversary from their first purchase

    This one is unlikely to be a massive income-generator, but it is a valuable automation to have. We implemented it now because it’s relatively fast and easy to do so. If it only ever makes one sale, that’s one more than before.

    Email Marketing Performance Overview

    Low Gravity Solutions generated a total of $18,584 in just two weeks. In those 14 days, we contributed 6% of their total 30-day revenue.

    These sales and recovery rate numbers are our most important metric when LGS reports back to the client, but they aren’t the only thing that we currently excel at. Here are some more traditional numbers that email marketers are used to seeing:

    • Open rate around 60%
    • Click rate around 28%
    • Spam rate at 0%
    • Unsubscribe rate less than 0.7%

    Klaviyo total email performance

    Coming Up Next…

    We have more standard e-commerce automated emails that we still need to implement. We need to refine almost all of them to be more specific based on products purchased, lifetime value, number of repeat purchases, and a few other key metrics that are collected by Klaviyo. And as soon as we get all of them cranking away as well as these automations above, then we can focus on campaign strategies that will feed these automations even more.

    Get Your Email Systems Setup Before the End of 2021

    If you’re interested in having Low Gravity Solutions set up your automated email marketing system before the end of this year, time is already running out. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that all, or part, of your business needs to be online. And if you’re online, you need email marketing.

    We have limited availability, but if you want results like this, do not wait any longer. Get in touch today!


      Tell me a little bit about your business and
      how we can help you:


      (Don't skip this step! Accuracy is very important.)




      David Sandel, Founder

      David Sandel, Founder

      Low Gravity Solutions

      Low Gravity Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in growing your small business and solving your entrepreneurial problems. You don't have time to do everything, so let us do it for you.

      MailChimp Siteground Domain Authentication

      MailChimp Siteground Domain Authentication

      What is MailChimp Domain Authentication and Why Do I Care?

      MailChimp LogoMailChimp Domain Authentication is a trackable piece of embedded code in your MailChimp email header that most humans never see. It tells the internet provider of your MailChimp List subscriber’s internet service provider that you’re a legitimate sender, and not a Nigerian Prince trying to scam you out of millions of dollars. Basically, it helps your MailChimp email campaign or automation arrive in your subscribers’ inboxes and NOT their SPAM folders.

      Let’s look at this way… You create a MailChimp newsletter and send it to all your subscribers. It gets delivered to the outer gates of your contact’s email provider, and they ask for some ID. MailChimp says, “No problem, here’s my authentication.” The contact’s email provider then says, “Cool, the inbox is right this way.” — Without proper identification, the newsletter may or may not end up in the inbox. It could go to SPAM. And if you’re selling something or in the middle of an automation funnel, you definitely want that email going to their inbox.

      What MailChimp Domain Authentication Looks Like to Your Contacts

      Another cool thing that happens when you authenticate your domain is the way it looks in your contacts’ inboxes. Instead of showing something like:

      David Sandel David@LowGravitySolutions.com via blahblah.mailchimp.com

      It will just show

      David Sandel <David@LowGravitySolutions.com>

      like any other normal email you receive from your friends and family.

      MailChimp Instructions for Domain Authentication

      MailChimp does an excellent job of explaining how to authenticate your domain, and it’s incredibly easy. Just follow these simple steps to find them:

      1. Sign-in to your MailChimp account, and then choose “Account” from the drop-down menu next to your name in the upper-righthand corner of the screen.

      2. Click on the “Settings” tab and choose “Verified Domains.”

      3. Click on “View Setup Instructions” for the domain you would like to authenticate.

      4. You should now be able to see the instructions.

      MailChimp Authentication with Siteground Web Hosting

      The reason I wrote this post is that I already had instructions available for Bluehost users, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave out Siteground, another massively popular hosting service. The steps are pretty simple and straightforward for every provider, but each provider may also require that you enter them differently.

      Web Hosting

      1. Login to your Siteground cpanel. Loof for the “Domains” section in the middle of the page, and click the link for the Advanced DNS Zone Editor.

      2. On the next screen, click the dropdown box and select the domain you want to authenticate with MailChimp. (If you only have one domain, this may already be selected for you.)

      3. Create the TXT record per the MailChimp instructions. Enter ‘yourdomain.com’ as the Host Record just like MailChimp says.

      4. Create the CNAME record exactly per the MailChimp instructions. 

      Verifying the MailChimp Authentication Worked

      Siteground and Mailchimp claim that changes in the DNS records may take 24-48 hours to propagate through the internet. In reality, I’ve had this process work as fast as immediately and as slow as 48 hours. The chance that you go back to MailChimp immediately and everything works is low, but not impossible. So if it doesn’t work right away, just try to be patient and check back whenever you have time.

      The steps to verify your authentication are basically the same as above in the MailChimp section. Navigate to the “Verified Domains” screen, click on “View Setup Instructions,” but this time, you’ll click on “Authenticate Domain” when the instructions pop up.

      Goodbye SPAM Folder; Hello Inbox

      At this point your domain should be authenticated and in good standing with any SPAM databases (provided you didn’t kill your score prior to this already). However, it doesn’t automatically mean that if your emails were already being delivered to someone’s SPAM folder, that they will now be going to their inbox. If that’s happening, you’re not likely to know about it, and you just have to hope they check someday and add you to their safe sender’s list.

      This is also not the only thing you should be doing to avoid your campaigns ending up in someone’s SPAM. Believe it or not, the words you use, subject lines, pictures, how you use links, and how often other people have marked you as SPAM or reported abuse also affects it. It’s kind of like a running score of how trustworthy you are, so make sure you’re following all the email marketing best practices. If you suspect your MailChimp campaign emails are already going to everyone’s SPAM and don’t know how to fix it, let’s get in touch and see if we can get you out of email prison. I’m an official MailChimp Expert, and I’d love to help you out.

      David Sandel

      David Sandel

      Low Gravity Solutions

      Low Gravity Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in growing your small business and solving your entrepreneurial problems. You don’t have time to do everything, so let us do it for you.


        Tell me a little bit about your business and
        how we can help you:


        (Don't skip this step! Accuracy is very important.)




        **Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking one, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price, but it costs exactly the same to you.
        MailChimp Domain Authentication with Bluehost Web Hosting

        MailChimp Domain Authentication with Bluehost Web Hosting

        What is MailChimp Domain Authentication and Why Do I Care?

        MailChimp LogoMailChimp Domain Authentication is a trackable piece of embedded code in your MailChimp email header that most humans never see. It tells the internet provider of your MailChimp List subscriber’s internet service provider that you’re a legitimate sender, and not a Nigerian Prince trying to scam you out of millions of dollars. Basically, it helps your MailChimp email campaign or automation arrive in your subscribers’ inboxes and NOT their SPAM folders. Let’s look at this way… You create a MailChimp newsletter and send it to all your subscribers. It gets delivered to the outer gates of your contact’s email provider, and they ask for some ID. MailChimp says, “No problem, here’s my authentication.” The contact’s email provider then says, “Cool, the inbox is right this way.” — Without proper identification, the newsletter may or may not end up in the inbox. It could go to SPAM. And if you’re selling something or in the middle of an automation funnel, you definitely want that email going to their inbox.

        What MailChimp Domain Authentication Looks Like to Your Contacts

        Another cool thing that happens when you authenticate your domain is the way it looks in your contacts’ inboxes. Instead of showing something like:

        David Sandel David@LowGravitySolutions.com via blahblah.mailchimp.com

        It will just show

        David Sandel <David@LowGravitySolutions.com>

        like any other normal email you receive from your friends and family.

        MailChimp Instructions for Domain Authentication

        MailChimp does an excellent job of explaining how to authenticate your domain, and it’s incredibly easy. Just follow these simple steps to find them:

        1. Sign-in to your MailChimp account, and then choose “Account” from the drop-down menu next to your name in the upper-righthand corner of the screen.

        2. Click on the “Settings” tab and choose “Verified Domains.”

        3. Click on “View Setup Instructions” for the domain you would like to authenticate.

        4. You should now be able to see the instructions.

        MailChimp Authentication with Bluehost Web Hosting

        The reason I wrote this post is that there are a few tricks that I had to learn the hard way when dealing with Bluehost. Nevertheless, the steps are pretty simple and straightforward.

        1. Login to your Bluehost cpanel. Down the page on the left or in the “domains” section in the middle of the page, will be a link for your DNS Zone Editor. Click it.

        2. On the next screen, click the dropdown box and select the domain you want to authenticate with MailChimp.

        3. Create the TXT record per the MailChimp instructions; however, DO NOT use ‘yourdomain.com’ as the Host Record like MailChimp says. You must use the @ symbol as the Host Record like I show in the picture below.

        4. Create the CNAME record per the MailChimp instructions. You’ll notice that after you click “add record,” yourdomain.com might disappear from the host record field and end up looking like k1._domainkey. That’s fine and MailChimp will be able to authenticate you anyway.

        Verifying the MailChimp Authentication Worked

        Bluehost claims that changes in the DNS records should take effect within 4 hours of the updates, and MailChimp says to allow 24-48 hours. In reality, I’ve had this process work as fast as immediately and as slow as 48 hours.

        The chance that you go back to MailChimp immediately and everything works is low, but not impossible. So if it doesn’t work right away, just try to be patient and check back whenever you have time.

        The steps are basically the same as above in the MailChimp section. Navigate to the “Verified Domains” screen, click on “View Setup Instructions,” but this time, you’ll click on “Authenticate Domain” when the instructions pop up.

        Goodbye SPAM Folder; Hello Inbox

        At this point your domain should be authenticated and in good standing with any SPAM databases. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that if your emails were already being delivered to someone’s SPAM folder that they will now be going to their inbox. If that’s happening, you’re not likely to know about it, and you just have to hope they check someday and add you to their safe sender’s list.

        This is also not the only thing you should be doing to avoid your campaigns ending up in someone’s SPAM. Believe it or not, the words you use, subject lines, pictures, how you use links, and how often other people have marked you as SPAM or reported abuse also affects it. It’s a running score of how trustworthy you are, so make sure you’re following all the email marketing best practices.

        If you suspect your MailChimp campaign emails are already going to everyone’s SPAM and don’t know how to fix it, let’s get in touch and see if we can get you out of email prison. I’m an official MailChimp Expert, and I’d love to help you out.

        David Sandel

        David Sandel

        Low Gravity Solutions

        Low Gravity Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in growing your small business and solving your entrepreneurial problems. You don’t have time to do everything, so let us do it for you.


          Tell me a little bit about your business and
          how we can help you:


          (Don't skip this step! Accuracy is very important.)




          **Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking one, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price, but it costs exactly the same to you.